Brent crude oil ended lower on Friday as investors booked profits after gaining for four straight days and hitting overbought conditions as it topped $120 a barrel.
But Brent crude posted its fourth consecutive weekly gain, with prices elevated due to fears of supply disruptions in Iran and rising confidence that Greece will finally secure a debt bailout deal by tomorrow. US crude rose for the third consecutive day, ending at the highest level in nine months, and chalking up its second straight week of gains.
A slew of recent upbeat economic data has helped US crude advance, although a report on Thursday that US consumer prices rose the most in four months in January due to a spike in gasoline prices raised concerns that higher energy costs could slow the econ-omic recovery.
In London, ICE Brent crude for April delivery settled at $119.58 a barrel, falling 53 cents, or 0.44 per cent, after hitting a session high of $120.70, the highest since June 15. For the week, Brent crude rose $2.27, or 1.94 per cent, extending gains to the fourth week in a row.
US crude for March delivery settled at $103.24 a barrel, gaining 93 cents, or 0.91 per cent, topping the $103.22 close from January 4 and posting the highest finish since front-month crude ended at $103.88 on May 10.
For the week, US crude ended up $4.57, or 4.6 per cent. That marked its best performance since the week to December 23, when front-month prices ended up $6.15, or 6.58 per cent.
In post-settlement trading, March crude extended the day's high, hitting $104.14, up $1.83, the priciest for front-month US crude since the May 11, 2011 intraday high of $104.60. March crude expires on Tuesday. April Brent's premium against its US counterpart contract narrowed sharply to $15.98 at the close, from $17.47 on Thursday. Brent crude's Relative Strength Index (RSI) fell back to 70, from 73.6 on Thursday, according to Reuters data. A reading of 70 is the threshold for overbought conditions.